Spending Pesach in Hotels

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  • #591411

    Pesach is a traditional holiday that has been celebrated for many years with family. What does everyone think about the idea of going to a hotel and killing the whole tradition of spending it at home?

    #681691

    volvie
    Member

    Bad bad idea.

    #681692

    oomis
    Participant

    I prefer Pesach at home. I like my shul, my own place, and the newness of my home on Pesach. My married kids come to me (this year for the last days), and I don’t think I would feel the same sense of “yom tov” if I were in a hotel for this specific holiday. Pesach is in a category all by itself.

    #681693

    chesedname
    Participant

    Like almost everything in life, don’t knock it till you tried it! i haven’t tried it, but i feel it’s one of those things there is no right or wrong, what’s good for one might not be good for another, and we shouldn’t knock ppl that do go to hotels.

    on a side note (i know no one was doing it here) i once saw in a sefer that a lot of times the avaroh of losh hara is worse then the avera done by the guy we’re knocking, something to think about.

    #681695

    tomim tihye
    Member

    “I don’t think I would feel the same sense of “yom tov” if I were in a hotel for this specific holiday.”

    Definitely agree!

    #681696

    mt mehdi
    Member

    The better question is, would any of you attend a Pesach hotel if it were free? Be honest.

    #681697

    shtusim
    Participant

    Pesach is about memories and family. Unless circumstances dictate that you must go, it is really a crime.

    Going into Golus to celebrate cheirus really doesn’t make sense.

    A friend of mine goes every year to a hotel. I asked him how it works with all the differnt families going at different paces. He said, ” As soon as i see the first waiter walking out of the kitchen, we skip to Go-al Yisroel!”

    SOME YOM TOV!!

    #681698

    shindy
    Member

    If it’s free and they promise I will not gain an ounce, I would go! These hotels are so fattening. The agenda is the food in some of these places. In fact, someone told me she packs two sizes of clothes, her regular clothes for first days, and bigger sized clothing for last days!

    #681699

    aries2756
    Participant

    I don’t understand why this question keeps coming up, why are we always looking in yenem’s tup? Just because one chooses to stay home and make Pesach as usual it does not mean that another way is not as acceptable. Many of us run our own “Pesach Hotels” when our home is filled to the brink with family and friends. For us we are home, but for them what is the difference if they go to someone else or they go to a hotel? They are doing what is best and easiest for them and it is not OUR place to judge or comment.

    People make various choices for a variety of reasons whether it is because the whole family cannot fit into one place, or the adults work and it makes it too hard to do a thorough Pesach cleaning plus prepare the meals, etc. Some people have physical and/or emotional reasons that prevent them from handling Pesach at home. Sometimes it is a gift from a very loving and grateful Husband who does not want to see his wife work so hard or parents who want to spend Yom Tov with as many of their children and grandchildren together. Many programs offer private sedorim rooms to accomodate a more heimish atmosphere. Usually the entire hotel is rented out for Pesach so you are among only Yiddin aside from the staff who are trained to accommodate you. They have children’s programs so both parents and child are equally entertained and cared for. The vast array of shiurim, minyanim, and other programs enhance the Yom Tov atmosphere in addition to the convenience of having everything under one roof and no need to go outside if the weather does not cooperate.

    Pesach or any Yom Tov in a hotel is not for everyone, obviously. But as Yiddin we must understand that just because we do things one way, it does not give us license to criticize others who choose another path. It is perfectly and halachically permissible and therefore an non-issue.

    #681700

    volvie
    Member

    We should be dan lkaf zchus that those going would perhaps be doing even less if they didn’t go.

    #681701

    anonymrs
    Participant

    the tradition for anything was to spend it at home, because back in the day there was no other choice. there are choices now. some people make a parnasa by going to a hotel. some people have more simcha at a hotel than at home. for some families it is the only way for everyone one to get together because b”h their family is so large. for some people that is how they grew up and that is how their children and grandchildren will grow up too. thatis their choice, not yours. why do people feel the need to look at other people and question what they are doing? why cant we just worry about ourselves?

    #681703

    dvorak
    Member

    We used to be of the anti-hotel variety. We both always stayed home, and while it was hard (helping with all the cleaning and other preparations) we received some very valuable chinuch about Pesach, and the proper way to approach mitzvos in general. We’ve always felt that doing things the convenient way really causes one to miss out on certain important aspects of the chag. I haven’t made Pesach myself yet. In two years of marriage, this is going to be the third one- the first was spent with my parents, second with hubby’s. Well, as it turns out, I’m due smack in the middle of Pesach. It’s pretty difficult for me to move around at this point and neither set of parents is particularly interested in having to wait on me hand and foot while I lay on the couch like a big lump (not to mention, my in-laws are out of town and traveling that far in my condition is problematic). This would be the first time that my mother would have to do things without me. So yes, this year we are going to a hotel (us and my parents). It feels kind of weird and we’re a little nervous about the new experience. I still feel that it’s better to do it yourself, but at least I now know that there are legitimate reasons why sometimes you might not be able to. I, for one, am now very glad that the hotel option exists.

    #681704

    chesedname
    Participant

    to: shtusim

    none of what you wrote makes sense.

    you wrote “Pesach is about memories and family” no it’s about discussing our redemption from Egypt, not about nice memories, that’s what a Sunday afternoon is for

    you wrote “Unless circumstances dictate that you must go, it is really a crime.” why is it a crime? because some ppl enjoy the hotel experience? some woman can’t handle all the cooking and cleaning?

    you wrote “Going into Golus to celebrate cheirus really doesn’t make sense.” how is going to a hotel; and being served going into golus?? and staying home and starting to clean the table at 2:00am until 3 or 3:30am is cheirus by you?

    #681705

    pookie
    Member

    chesedname, like anything else in life, the harder you work on something the more you will enjoy it when your all done. so in a way staying up till 3:00 in the morning is cheirus

    #681707

    lakewoodwife
    Member

    I never understood how people went to a hotel for Pesach. (I definitely dreamed of not having to clean & cook, but a hotel seemed strange to me). A few years ago we were going through a very stressful time. And I was also exhausted as I was at the beginning of my first pregnancy (we had been married for many years, already). We went to speak to a Gadol about 3 weeks before Yom Tov (about the situation that was causing the stress), as we were finishing our conversation we mentioned that I was having a hard time preparing for Pesach because I was so tired (we had been unable to find a cleaning lady). The Rav told us we should go away and given all the circumstances a hotel was the right place to go. We went to a hotel run by someone we were familiar with and it was an amazing experience. We were able to relax and enjoy yom tov without added pressure. While it is not something I would do on a regular basis I will always be grateful that that option was available to us when we were told to avail ourselves of it.

    That having been said, there are a wide range of hotels available. From whet I understand, some seem to focus more on the Yom Tov and some more on the ‘vacation’ aspect. Obviously each person must do what’s best for them (after consultation with their Rav), but I think that the focus of the particular hotel must be taken into account.

    #681709

    volvie
    Member

    There is a difference between someone going to a hotel due to an extenuating circumstance, rather than someone going to have a blast, vacation, or get away from the Yom Tov routine.

    #681710

    smiling
    Member

    aries: what does that mean make it hard to do a thorough pesach cleaning? everything in life is easy?? the harder it is the bigger mitzva u get! yiddishkeit is not about looking for loopholes and the easy way out. obviously if theres extenuating circumstances that’s not what im referring to but in most cases it’s not.

    #681711

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    Why must there always be a discussion of whether what other people do is ok? If you prefer Pesach at home, that’s fine. If you go to a Hotel, enjoy. Why the preoccupation with what everyone else is doing?

    #681712

    volvie
    Member

    “Kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh” (Rashi, Vaiykra 26:37). All Jews are responsible for each other.

    #681713

    smiling
    Member

    very good volvie! for once i agree with u!

    #681715

    volvie
    Member

    J-a-g: If one Jew G-d forbid sees another Jew sinning or about to sin, (and my point here isn’t to state that going to a hotel is necessarily a sin but rather to make the larger point), he is responsible to speak up and/or interfere.

    #681718

    volvie
    Member

    J-a-g: Can you rather come to my house to point out my errors please? Whilst smiling is a tzadik, I have room for improvement. And I’d love to have someone point out all the areas where I can improve! (Since I could miss noticing some areas myself.)

    #681719

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    Volvie,

    If your point is not that going to a hotel is necessarily a sin, what is your point? Seriously, I don’t understand what the point of telling people that what they do is a bad bad idea. You said its a bad bad idea. What does that mean? Are you a posek and you’re saying its not permitted by halacha? If not, maybe you should keep your opinion to yourself, and maybe in general, we need not have discussions like, what does everyone think of this particular thing that some people do but I do not. Every discussion here, why do some people have cleaning ladies, buy labels, take vacations, wear sheitels, go to college, wear a colored shirt, eat this hechsher but not that one, lay tefilin on an airplane, go to concerts, go to rallies, wear a hat, wear a jacket. Its a constant stream of putting people down. Yes, we are all responsible for each other. Putting people down is not the way to help.

    Yes, if someone would like to say maybe I’m just not at high enough a level, go ahead.

    So, that’s my first suggestion, stop saying things like that, that what other people do, for reasons you have no idea about, and which are halachically permitted, are bad bad ideas.

    #681720

    volvie
    Member

    It has nothing to do with “putting people down” nor is it doing anything of the sort. Having a discussion on what is right and wrong has everything to do with Kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh. Whether the discussion concerns hotels, shaitel, vacations, hechsheirim, college, tefilin, concert, rallies, or hat and jackets. Whereas there IS a Torah viewpoint on all these issues, there is every reason to be concerned for each and every Jew. One for another.

    And that is the point.

    #681721

    oomis
    Participant

    If it were free, I would certainly be tempted, provided there was absolutely no question on the reliability of the kashrus. But truthfully, I would rather go for Succos or Shavuos. Pesach is a time I really like being home. But if someone else likes to go away and can afford it, kol hakavod.

    #681722

    Yanky55
    Member

    I would never criticize anyone’s decision about where to spend Pesach. I would merely like to raise the following question.

    With so many people out of work, and people needing to take from Tomche Shabbos to put food on the table, wouldn’t it be tremendous if every person took the thousands of dollars they spend on a hotel and gave it to tzedakos that need it desperately?

    Wouldn’t this hasten the arrival of Moshiach?

    #681723

    mt mehdi
    Member

    “With so many people out of work, and people needing to take from Tomche Shabbos to put food on the table, wouldn’t it be tremendous if every person took the thousands of dollars they spend on a hotel and gave it to tzedakos that need it desperately?”

    I would love to give more Tzedaka money instead of going away for Pesach, but I already gave a fifth of my money to tzedaka and any more is an Aveira.

    #681724

    oomis
    Participant

    Yanky, your point is a good one. BUT – no one, myself included, has the right to decide how someone who has the money, should spend it – provided that they ARE also giving tzedaka. Yes, in an ideal world, people would forego certain luxuries and give to the poor so that they would also have a nice and equitable life. But wait – is that not SOCIALISM? Not everyone has money, and many people who are poor ARE getting outside financial help. But we cannot decide for someone else where he should put his money.

    People who go away, do so in order to avoid the stress and work of Pesach preparations. I personally do not find it stressful, and I enjoy it. Pesach is bar none, my favorite yom tov (no bees buzzing around me while I eat lunch).

    When I was first married, and for at least 12 years thereafter, I spent every single yom tov by my parents (in-laws were not frum, so that was out). I was not on vacation, though, because I cooked alongside of my mom O”H, and my husband and I turned their house over every Pesach, and kashered the stove and oven. I was never a “guest,” nor did I expect to be treated as such. After I felt it was too much for my parents to have us come to them, (and way too hard packing up a family of seven), I invited my parents to move in with me for the week, each year. They spent most of yom tov with us, and the last days usually by one of my siblings. It was the notion of spending yom tov with my parents, cooking with my mom as always, sitting together before yom tov making the geilte fish, charoses and the maror, bensching licht with her, that made my Pesach. Those memories resonate with me in ways that going away to a hotel could not possibly do so, no matter what anyone else who GOES away might feel. And my kids have the memories of helping me bake for yom tov, of doing the same things with me that I did with my mom, and it just isn’t the same when you are not home. OK, now I need a Kleenex.

    #681725

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Eeees and I have always stayed at home (or with friends/relatives) for Pesach. We have never gone away to a hotel for Pesach and, truthfully, cannot even imagine it — even if we did have the money for it.

    But that being said, I have no problem with it. Just because it isn’t for us personally and conflicts with “our idea” of Pesach doesn’t make it wrong or bad for everyone. To each his own and all that.

    The Wolf

    #681726

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Going into Golus to celebrate cheirus really doesn’t make sense.

    You know, as I give the matter a bit of thought, it seems to me that the authentic Jewish thing to do *is* to go to a hotel.

    After all, in the times of the Beis HaMikdash, unless you lived in Yerushalayim, you went away for Pesach *every* year. 🙂

    (No, I’m not really advocating that people go away — but let’s quit knocking those that do.)

    The Wolf

    #681727

    volvie
    Member

    But wait – is that not SOCIALISM?

    Tzedaka is not socialism.

    Not everyone has money, and many people who are poor ARE getting outside financial help. But we cannot decide for someone else where he should put his money.

    Tzedaka is a chiyuv even for the poorest members of society.

    (This comment has nothing to do with the hotel question.)

    #681728

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    With so many people out of work, and people needing to take from Tomche Shabbos to put food on the table, wouldn’t it be tremendous if every person took the thousands of dollars they spend on a hotel and gave it to tzedakos that need it desperately?

    But hey, why stop with Pesach hotels?

    Wouldn’t it be better if everyone bought a cheap esrog and gave more to Tomche Shabbos? Wouldn’t it be better if, instead of a $25 bouquet of flowers for Yom Tov I bought a $5 bouquet and gave the balance to Tomche Shabbos?

    The Wolf

    #681729

    Yanky55
    Member

    I never decided how anyone should spend his money. I simply raised the question if in this terrible matzav many people find themselves in, it would be a good idea for people to use the thousands of dollars to feed the hungry rather than a hotel.

    I am 100% sure, HKB”H will overlook this “aveirah” (of giving more than a chomesh) that “mt mehdi” raises…..

    #681730

    volvie
    Member

    A nicer Esrog and beautifying Yom Tov are mitzvos themselves. Shpatziring in a hotel is not.

    #681731

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    A nicer Esrog and beautifying Yom Tov are mitzvos themselves.

    Maybe… but charity is minHaTorah. Buying a nicer Esrog is a hiddur mitzvah at best.

    The Wolf

    #681732

    tzippi
    Member

    Smilingsfriend, what chiddushim were you hoping would come out of this thread?

    And yes, rich people might choose a simpler Pesach and give the rest away, but face it, rich people do things differently. What’s understated for a rich person will still be way above my standard of living. And that’s not a bad thing. A)We are none of us Robin Hood and B)a somewhat higher standard of living may well engender more generosity. There’s a famous story of a wealthy man who ate very, very simply, and was told off by a rav/rebbe, who told him that when a poor man comes and says he’s hungry so nu, he’ll share his meal of black bread and herring, or worse, say if I with my money can manage on this and I’m the gvir, he shouldn’t need more on his bread than a little oil. The wealthy man was told on the contrary, he should live on a higher standard so that he could better appreciate how much the poor are missing.

    #681733

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    BS”D:

    1: There are many Talmidai Chachomim who make parnossah as mashgichim, etc. over Pesach, and that is a main source of income. I would argue that going to hotels IS an act of Tzedaka (giving them a job) and a Mitzva, even excluding “Simchas Yom Tov” (Begadim vs. not having to go crazy cleaning & cooking, anyone?). There is no chiyuv to lose output by giving to others, if anything it is better to work for it (Nedarim 49B).

    2: As far as Yanky’s comment about chomesh, there is a reason why the gemorah disagrees with you (with specific exceptions), even in “bad years” like we have now. B”H the money is NOT needed for people to survive (unlike the collections made during WWII on Shabbos, for example). Before being so sure, ask your Rav.

    #681735

    bpt
    Participant

    Go after pesach. From what I’ve heard and read, its virtualy impossible to have the hotel keep the same level of kashrus you would provide yourself at home when they are catering to a huge crowd. Mistakes happen.

    No, they don’t serve bread by mistake. But bishul issues, wrong cleanser being used, a “not as frum guest” bringing in his own food to the meal, and using the house dishes (which then go back to the kitchen and into the dishwaher with the other 499 plates, which then comes back out as YOUR plate).

    Besides, no matter where you go, you are looking a staggering cost of $1500 – $2500 per person. All this to fress, day and night? Is that what Hashem took us out for, to be his chosen people?

    Go after Lag bomer without the guilt and almost definite kashrus pitfalls.

    #681736

    volvie
    Member

    BP Totty – Indeed. Numerous horror stories have been told.

    #681737

    jphone
    Member

    “Pesach is a traditional holiday that has been celebrated for many years with family. What does everyone think about the idea of going to a hotel and killing the whole tradition of spending it at home?”

    This question is faulty from the get go. Why cant people further the tradition of celebrating with family, in a hotel? Extended family? Well, not everyone is at home, are they? Does the entire extended family live under the same roof? By definition, people are already away from home. Once leaving their home to further the tradition of celebrating with family, people have chosen to celebrate under the roof of a hotel instead of a private home.

    #681739

    Jothar
    Member

    Kashrus is just one pitfall of a hotel. Tznius is another. Perhaps if we wouldn’t elevate Pesach cleaning into spring cleaning, people wouldn’t just give up and go to hotels. Hotels used to be for people who just couldn’t make their own- the sick, elderly, or those with no place to go. Hotels were for people who couldn’t go anywhere else.

    #681740

    feivel
    Participant

    Pesach Night in Mitzrayim, about midnight

    the Destroyer kills the firstborn mitzrim and passes over the Jews.

    the Jews have “painted” their doorposts and lintels with the blood of the egyptian “dieties”, the sheep. an act that cannot help but produce intense hatred of the Jews. but this is what Hashem commanded.

    the Jews are told to stay in their homes the Seder night, and to lock their doors.

    WHY?

    the Destroyer (or Hashem Himself) needs blood to locate the homes of the Jews?

    The Destroyer cant get into a home with closed doors. the doors of the mitzrim didnt protect them.

    locking the doors? again, to keep the Malach out?

    on this night, Hashem is readying His People, His Holy Nation, chosen to be His, a separate People, who will live by the Torah and nothing else but the Torah. He commands they shall do the very act (the slaughtering and brazen application of the blood of their ‘diety”) which will cause the Mitzrim to be repelled and withdraw from them. to separate from the nations, to close and lock their doors to complete and symbolize their desire for separation. to remain in their homes where a Great Kedushah would descend upon them on this first Seder Night.

    and every Seder Night since then, a great Kedushah descends upon the Jewish People and upon Jewish Homes, the family Battai Mikdoshim. those who are ready for it, who want nothing but Hashem, their Father, to take them as His, and who take Hashem as the only thing they desire, they will experience the Kedushah.

    #681742

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    feivel: Nice to see you 🙂

    Jothar: Well said, but to each alone to make that choice, not for us to make it for them.

    I find it interesting that at the same time, we have a thread that says to judge those who go to hotels for Pesach, but not to judge those who ask for Tzedaka.

    #681743

    feivel
    Participant

    youre right gavra

    for whatever reason

    if they have to go, they have to go

    people making that decision though should just be aware that its not the best situation. if it can be avoided that would be best.

    #681744

    volvie
    Member

    Kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh. We are each responsible for one another.

    #681745

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    Volvie wrote:

    “Kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh. We are each responsible for one another.”

    We are also required to be dan l’kaf zechus. If my fellow Yidden spend Pesach at a hotel I assume they have a good reason for doing so. I assume they take precautions to avoid the pitfalls that might arise.

    EDITED

    #681747

    volvie
    Member

    feivel: Well said.

    J-a-g: It is worthwhile repeating Kol Yisrael areivim ze lazeh another 10 times. And I specifically said to be dan l’kaf zechus earlier on this thread.

    Additionally, some of the pitfalls of hotels mentioned earlier by various posters are in your face and rather difficult to completely avoid.

    And finally, many many reasons were offered on this thread by many posters as to why it would be wise to be home for Pesach.

    Chag Kosher V’Sameach!

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